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How Narcissists End a Relationship & Behavior You’ll See As They Get Bored

Narcissists are cruel and unpredictable. They hook you, reel you in, and play with your feelings at their whim. So, how do narcissists end a relationship?

how do narcissists end a relationship

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship with a narcissist will tell you that it’s certainly no picnic. This isn’t a union with a future. Rather, it’s one that will simply leave you lost and alone. But, have you ever wondered how narcissists end a relationship?

We know that narcissists are never wrong and they’re always the most shining example of a person—at least, in their own eyes. But narcissists are complex and can act very unpredictably.

When they choose to toy with a person’s emotions, they do so with gusto, until they’re bored and want to move on to their next victim. [Read: Psychological manipulation – how it works, 37 tactics, signs and ways to deal]

What does a narcissistic relationship look like?

While no relationship is ever the same as the next, a narcissistic relationship tends to have three distinct phases that repeat themselves:

1. Initiation phase

At this point, the narcissist will be the most charming and amazing person you’ve ever met. They’ll be oh-so-attentive and kind. You’ll wonder what you did to deserve this person.

But the truth is that it’s all an illusion and just a tactic called “love bombing.” [Read: Love bombing – what it is, how it works, and 21 signs you’re being manipulated]

Narcissists hook their ‘prey’ through flattery and a personality that shines like glitter. What you have to remember is that they will not keep this up.

They’ll use it until they’ve got you right where they want you, and then they’ll revert back to their narcissistic selves.

If they suspect that you’re growing tired of their behavior or you might leave before they’re ready to discard you first, they’ll revert back to their perfect selves to hook you once more. [Read: 42 signs and ways to see manipulative behavior and stop being used by people]

2. Devalue phase

This phase is when a narcissist really shows their true colors.

At this point, they start to drag their victim’s self-esteem so far down that they have very little left to show for themselves. They will isolate them so they have no support network to warm them against their partner’s actions, leaving them totally vulnerable.

At this point, the victim will feel like they have no choice but to stay in the relationship because they’re “not worthy” of anything or anyone else.

Of course, none of that is true, but it’s a clever and extremely toxic form of manipulation successfully weaved by the narcissist. [Read: Gaslighting – what it is, how it works, and 33 signs to spot it ASAP]

3. Discard phase

At this point, the narcissist is bored and wants a new challenge, so they throw the person aside and move on to their next victim.

However, this is often not a permanent deal and, usually, the narcissist will keep the victim almost on a piece of string, dragging them back and playing around with their emotions as they see fit.

This cycle often continues until the victim becomes strong enough to walk away for good.

How long do narcissistic relationships last?

You might tell yourself that they will change and probably blame yourself for everything. But, the bottom line is that the relationship is doomed to fail.

Narcissists are only interested in those who make them look good. The chances are that if your narcissistic partner decides you no longer serve that purpose, they’re going to move on.

How do narcissists end a relationship? Suddenly, sharply, and probably without warning. [Read: Why do people fall for narcissists when they know they shouldn’t?]

A narcissistic relationship can be a brief thing or it can be something that goes on for years, with the narcissist ending things and rekindling it as they see fit.

However, the majority of narcissists aren’t the ones who end relationships. It’s normally their partner who eventually reaches the point where they can’t take anymore.

It often takes a while, because manipulation means that they start to question themselves and everything around them. But, in the end, they take the brave step to set themselves free. [Read: Narcissistic rage – how to handle the angry backlash of a narcissist

If they actually do, how do narcissists end a relationship?

In some cases, a narcissist will walk away, usually when they decide their partner simply doesn’t reflect well on them anymore, or they’ve become too needy.

It sounds terrible to say, but a narcissist is not going to stick around when times become tough.

For instance, if their partner is suddenly taken seriously ill and this is a situation that may be around for a while, they’re more likely to end the relationship than stick around. The reason? Narcissists don’t know how to be supportive. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

True narcissists have Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD. This means that they can’t help how they are, of course, but they’re not going to change either.

There is no treatment for narcissism. The only route forward is cognitive behavioral therapy, and in order for this type of therapy to work, the narcissist has to admit there is something not quite right and commit to the process.

This is very unlikely to happen and as a result, most narcissists go through their lives leaving a trail of emotional destruction wherever they go.

So, how do narcissists end a relationship? [Read: Narcissistic relationship pattern and the 7 stages you have to face]

1. Find a new partner or narcissistic supply

A narcissist is unlikely to go long without someone on their arm, so they’re likely to just abruptly walk away from you and find someone else to give them the supply they need, e.g. adoration.

However, in most cases, they’ll find someone else before they walk away which means you’re demoted to the side piece, probably without even realizing it.

2. Start a fight to end the relationship

Another common way a narcissist will end a relationship is to orchestrate a huge fight which, of course, is all your fault.

Therefore, they can walk away and just blame you. But let’s best honest, they’re going to do that anyway. [Read: Relationship arguments – 38 tips and ways to fight fair and grow closer in love]

3. Blame whatever they can find on you anyway

It doesn’t have to be a fight that ends it, the narcissist will just come up with something they can throw at you and then blame you for the end of the relationship. They might even pretend to be hurt, but in reality, they don’t know what hurt is.

4. But then they guilt you into staying

The thing about narcissists is that they can’t keep their minds on one thing for long. They don’t like the idea of you going off, feeling better, and potentially finding someone who actually treats you right.

So, after they’ve “ended” the relationship, they come back and guilt you into coming back and staying with them.

Don’t be surprised if a huge dose of gaslighting appears. [Read: Give him a second chance? How to know if he’s sorry and won’t hurt you]

5. Promises to change

Ah, yes. They will then promise to change and be the most loving, sensitive partner you’ve ever seen in your life. Don’t believe them—they haven’t got a clue how to love someone, let alone be sensitive.

6. Stalking

If that doesn’t work, they’ll resort to stalking your social media and possibly even in person. Creepy? Yes. Dangerous? Potentially.

Even if the narcissist doesn’t attempt to get you back once they’ve ended the relationship, they’ll probably still keep an eye on you from afar because, in their twisted mind, you’re somehow their property. [Read: Signs of a stalker – the glaring clues you need to watch out for]

7. Making you jealous

This is a nasty form of manipulation that aims to make you move closer to the narcissist. They’ll get you to stay and then they’ll make you jealous, so you “see what you’re missing.” It’s another form of coercive control that aims to keep you right where you are.

And even if you don’t end up back together, they’ll try to make you jealous anyway.

As you can see, a narcissist rarely ends a relationship definitively. [Read: How to recognize the signs of jealousy in someone and guide them out]

8. Feigns crisis

Don’t be surprised to get a panic-stricken call in which they tell you that there has been a death in the family or someone is gravely ill. They might even tell you that they’ve taken extremely sick and need help.

It’s highly likely to be a lie to try and get you to rush to their side and drop everything to help them. In truth, nobody has died, nobody is sick, and they’re in the best health possible.

9. Seek revenge

A narcissist will take it as a huge slight on their personality if you decide to leave them, and they’re not going to leave it at that. So, if they end it and you decide not to go back to them, they’re going to try and get some kind of revenge.

They might even try and get revenge on you if you go back to them because they’re punishing you for daring to leave in the first place—even though they broke up with you. Go figure! [Read: How to get revenge – cold, calculated moves to hit back and get even]

How long after discarding you will a narcissist come back?

A narcissist will leave it long enough for you to suffer plenty before they make contact again.

Don’t be surprised if they’re not watching you suffer in the distance, be it on social media or in person. Remember, narcissists love to watch people suffer—they somehow get a kick out of it.

So, don’t expect them to knock on your door days after the breakup, but give it a few weeks or a month and you will probably see them come crawling back. [Read: How to make him want you back – The art of getting a guy to miss you]

Can a narcissist change after a breakup? Do they apologize?

No, and no. If they do apologize, it’s not genuine. To say sorry and mean it, you need to have empathy and that’s something that narcissists simply don’t have.

We’re not saying that no narcissist in the history of humankind has never changed, but it’s only likely to have been down to extensive therapy that they were able to turn things around.

Remember, true narcissists have a personality disorder and they can’t just decide they’re going to do better—they don’t even think they’re doing anything wrong.

If you go back to a narcissist after a breakup, whether you left or they ended it, it will only go back to how it was before or even worse. You will not have a happy relationship with this person and they will not change. [Read: Compulsive liar – why they lie, 22 signs, and ways to spot them and walk away]

What can you do to move on after being discarded so abruptly?

When a narcissist leaves you, it’s a true blessing in disguise.

It’s the best thing that could happen to you because it allows you to spend some time on yourself and be open to better opportunities in the future. At the time, it will feel like your word has folded in on itself.

A narcissist will make you feel like they’re your world. You’ll become so dependent upon them for everything that when they leave, you’re left floundering.

You don’t know yourself anymore. In time this will pass, but in the moment it will feel like the planet has just turned on its axis.

But have faith that you will overcome your feelings and become strong again. Because, believe it or not, you will have a better future because of this.

So, how do you move on? With time and with plenty of strength and support. [Read: Hoovering – what it is, how narcissists use it, and how to avoid falling for it]

Your support network matters

If you want to leave a narcissist, surround yourself with a support network. The chances are that you put a little distance between yourself and your friends and family during the relationship because that’s what narcissists force you to do. They isolate you from those closest to you, so they can control you better.

However, your true friends and family will be there waiting for you to call on them for help. When you do, they’ll be there in full force. You’re going to need them, so surround yourself with as much support as you can find.

Also, make your decision and stick to it. Never go back. If you do, your life will be hell. The narcissist will never let you forget your attempt at leaving. To keep you right where they want you, their abuse and manipulation will be turned up several notches.

Stick to your plan, safe in the knowledge that it’s the right choice, no matter how hard it seems.

[Read: 36 secrets to hurt a narcissist and make them feel miserable for using you]

How do narcissists end a relationship? They don’t do it often, and when they do, it’s sudden and painful. Yet, in the end, it’s a true blessing.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...